Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Why You Should be Reading Professional Literature

With hundreds of thousands of veterans transitioning out of the military and into the civilian sector each year, one way to better position yourself for a new career and outperform other candidates is to be prepared. It's important to familiarize yourself with transition techniques including interviews and resumes, as well as positions (such as management) and industries (such as manufacturing) of interest. In fact, at Orion, we've seen a significant difference in the success rates of military job seekers who have invested the time to read professional books and materials as they prepared for their transition versus those who choose not to.

Whether you are leaving the service in two weeks or two years, reading professional literature will enhance your knowledge of the civilian job market and workplace and ensure you are as prepared as possible. However, it is important to carefully select books that are closely related to your specific needs, as choosing too much to read can be overwhelming and counterproductive.  It’s better to pick a few books and concentrate on understanding, learning, and applying the material.
This investment of time into reading professional literature will not only pay dividends as you search for a new career, but will also continue to help you grow professionally in your new job. In her article on Forbes.com, “Why Leaders Must be Readers”, Kelsey Meyer gives three reasons that professional reading is important.
1) Reading Reminds You: “[I] re-read specific books every year because I need constant reminders of the good things they’ve taught me.”
2) Reading Challenges You: “Reading something you disagree with can have a big impact on your ability to think, both creatively and logically.
3) Reading Gives You Opportunities to Interact with Others: “I have referenced articles and books I’ve read in countless conversations, not to sound intelligent or cool (some of what I read would accomplish the opposite), but to relate to those with whom I’m speaking.
Whether utilized in a job search or as a tool to excel in your career, targeted professional reading can help you shape your own professional identity and become knowledgeable on the latest ideas and trends in your industry. Additionally, it can even provide a leg up on your competitors.
In the sidebar to the right are a few examples of the books you can find on our Suggested Reading designed specifically for military job seekers. Check out the full list here for books divided by category to get a start on your professional development today.

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